The Nigeria Customs Services have intercepted Pangolin scales worth billions of Naira in Adamawa State.
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Kamaldeen Olumoh, Comptroller in-charge of Adamawa and Taraba, told journalists while displaying the exhibits on Tuesday in Yola, that the Pangolin scales was smuggled into Nigeria from neighbouring Cameroun.
The animal has been linked to the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000 people and tens of thousands infected globally.
“The command in 2019 seized about five sacks full of Pangolin scales being smuggled into Nigeria along the Nigeria-Cameroun international border.
“A long truck was apprehended along the Mubi-Yola federal highway carrying 266 bags of banned foreign rice. The rice was concealed inside 100 kg bags and two suspects were also arrested in connection with the contraband,” Olumoh said.
He also diclosed that the command intercepted an abandoned truck carrying about 35 drums of petroleum products around Belel Town in Maiha Local Government Area of Adamawa.
The truck, according to the commander, was abandoned by suspected smugglers, after it developed technical problems.
Olumoh further revealed that in 2019, the command generated N161.9 million more than the given target of N148.6 million.
”In 2019, the command achieved major anti-smuggling feats with about 74 seizures of different contraband and arrest of 20 suspects,” Olumoh added.
Pangolin is an African and Asian mammal with a body covered with horny over-lapping scales, a small head with an elongated snout, a long sticky tongue for catching ants and termites, and a tapering tail.
Its scales, like rhino horn, have no proven medicinal value, yet they are used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with ailments such as lactation difficulties and arthritis.